Every morning I wake up with the intention of writing something positive here; something non-war, non-politics related. But no sooner do I start thinking about movies or comic books or home repair stories when it all disappears.
I read my mail, read some blog posts, check the news and other sites. The negativity crawls back. Not my
negativity, but that of others, whose black cloud vibes seep out of their web pages, filter out of my monitor and do a slow crawl above my head, where the cloud will perch most of the day.
Most days, I try to dispel the cloud, make it go away. I try to poke holes in it, but this only serves to let the acid rain flow and I'm left feeling a bit radioactive. Glowing with the power of ire, you could say.
It's becoming impossible to stave off the negativity. Even if I hold off on reading the news and blogs, it's everywhere. I see it on bumper stickers, I overhear it at the pharmacy, I'm confronted with it on the radio.
Today, I am thinking about Maha Alattar
, who I listened to on WABC radio yesterday as John Gambling filled in for Sean Hannity.
Maha was born and raised in Iraq. She left that country for the United States in 1983. You can read her story here
Yesterday, she spoke about her hopes for Iraq and all her relatives that are still there. She mentioned that she lost cousins in this war, but that she still finds the war necessary in order to preserve Iraq's future. She talked about young girls with a chance to have a life like her own. She talked about life under Saddam, about young men stolen away in the middle of the night, about children never heard from again.
Maha is filled with hope. She already sees changes and even the simple ones, like young Iraqis using the internet to communicate with the world is something that she feels bodes well for the future of her homeland. It's a freedom she never had as a teenager. It's a step forward.
But others, who have never been in Maha's shoes, would pour cold water on her hopes and dreams. They will speak only of death and destruction, only of darkness and hopelessness. They never see the silver lining because their cloud is always, only black.
And the acid rain falls.
Today I am thinking about three Iraqi brothers; Omar, Mohammed and Ali
. They talk about Iraqi freedom, about things going on in their country that you don't see in the mainstream media.
Then I think about those who doubt the veracity of these three brothers, all of whom have lived under Saddam's reign. I read words that cause my blood pressure to rise, doubts that the brothers exists, or that if they do, their words don't really matter. It is the voice of denial coming from the left. If it does not fit their agenda, it cannot be true.
And more rain falls.
Today I am thinking about the presidential campaign. Not the official campaign, but those being run by the supporters of either candidate.
There's a line from a favorite song of mine by Bill Nelson that says build on hope, hope lasts forever
. That's what I'm looking for. Hope.
And then I read about an ad
being run in The Nation
. That image is the first thing you see when you go to this site
. I cringe and watch the black cloud loom larger.
Another drop of acid rain falls, and I'm feeling radioactive.
I think of the soldiers who are fighting this war for us, the soldiers who believe in what they are doing and are proud do to it, the soldiers who see the good things in Iraq.
And then I think of those who oppose these soldiers, those who try to tell the soldiers what they are doing wrong, those who cry for them to desert, to run away, those who call them baby killers.
The black cloud hovers, sways in the breeze and drops some more rain.
I think about September 11, 2001. I remember the terror, the fear, the overwhelming grief, some of which is still with me today. Two and half years later, there has not been another attack on US soil. Our homeland has not been attacked since that day. I feel confident that future attempts at attacks will be foiled. I feel confident that the war on terrorism will be won.
Yet there are those who spew venom on a daily basis in the form of tall tales. Bush planned 9/11. Bush made it happen. These are the same people who practically wish for another attack to happen, just so Bush can be blamed and lose the election. Of course, in the same breath these people will tell you that Bush is actually planning another attack on our country, so people will rally behind him again. A lie is a lie is a theory. Either side of the mouth talks as fast as the other.
Here comes that rain again.
I think about my country. United we stand, divided we fall
. I heard that a lot in my youth and it was a sentiment I truly believed in. I still do. Unfortunately, that sense of unity I once felt is gone. We truly are a nation divided.
It's not a fringe thing, because I see and hear on a daily basis words from moderates and mainstream liberals that used to be used only by the fringe elements of their political parties.
Perhaps the far right is engaging in these tactics as well. I don't know because I don't pay any attention to them. But I do pay attention to the left if only for the very fact that they hate me. And if you think like me, they hate you, too. They have declared themselves my enemy and, as such, I am obligated to pay attention to them.
I imagine them as anger personified; a massive swarm of bad feelings and bitterness, all shouts and shrill screeches and phasers set on stun.
They come at me (and when I say me, I mean anyone who is planning on voting for Bush) every day and no matter how I try to repel them, they will not back off. They are immune to facts, to truth, to reasoning. They beat you back with the only weapons they have: denial and distorted truth.
No matter how many Iraqis you throw at them, they won't believe a word spoken by them. No matter how many statistics you hit them with, they will deny each one to the very end. No matter how much good news
you give them, they will search out any tidbit of bad news to fight back with. They don't want
to hear good news. It defeats their purpose. Give them a soldier telling them the truth
and they will stick their fingers in their ears.
What makes me so different from them, you ask? Well, while they are totally negative, I'm not totally positive. I recognize flaws within my party. I recognize the faults of George Bush. I don't deny that there are some days the news out of Iraq is disheartening. They won't say anything that strays from the basic tenet of their movement, which is: If it's good for Bush, it's bad for us
. Their chants and mantras are nothing but bashing; their fight songs are funeral dirges. They are like goth teens gone wild. Death, despair, life sucks because you made it that way.
What also makes me different is my hope. I think of the future of Iraq and I envision thousands of Maha Alattars, girls becoming doctors, lawyers, equals and not having to sneak out of their country to do it. I think of Omar, Mohammed and Ali and how many young Iraqi men will follow in their footsteps, but do so without fear of being kidnapped in the middle of the night. It gives me hope not only for the people of Iraq, but for the people of America and the rest of the world as well. Start with one country, let the other willingly follow. Some day we might see a free world. If we don't, perhaps our children or grandchildren will. It is not fair of us to sit here and think only of us and our time on this planet. We must set the pace for the future.
Obviously, I think George W. Bush is the person who can help us set that pace for the future. I think he's the only who has the vision to look forward; a vision that includes the rest of the world, not just the U.S. It would be wrong to not consider the entire world, as the fate of the world is our fate as well.
I'm starting my own campaign for George W. Bush and it will have no black clouds. I'm going to build on hope, because hope lasts forever.
So can pessimism, if you let it. Don't let it.